News Release

ISMP Announces 20th Annual Cheers Awards Recipients

The Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) is proud to announce its 20th Annual Cheers Awards winners. The 20th anniversary awards dinner will be held on Tuesday, December 5, 2017, at B.B. King’s Blues Club in Orlando. The Cheers Awards honor individuals, organizations, and companies that have set a standard of excellence for others to follow in the prevention of medication errors and adverse drug events.

The winners of this year’s awards are:

  • Abu Dhabi Pharmacy Conference
    The Abu Dhabi Pharmacy Conference, a joint collaborative between Abu Dhabi Health Services Co. (SEHA) and the Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, is receiving a Cheers Award for the development of a unique video that is raising awareness about medication safety in the Middle East. The leaders of the conference developed the video to set the stage for their second annual meeting in April 2017. It is based on a true story in which a patient presented to an emergency department after taking methotrexate daily for several days, and highlights the importance of patient and family education and the need to ask questions to prevent medication errors. The video also introduces the “5 Questions to Ask about Your Medications,” which is intended to help patients and caregivers start a conversation with their healthcare providers and become more knowledgeable about their own medication therapy management. The video, which has subtitles in English, can be viewed here. It has been made freely available on social media and has had close to 3,000 views since its posting in mid-2017. 
  • Regenstrief National Center for Medical Device Informatics (REMEDI) Infusion Pump Collaborative
    The REMEDI Infusion Pump Collaborative is being honored for its work to collect and share data from smart infusion pump drug libraries to improve patient safety. REMEDI is an evidence-based community of practice that includes pharmacists, nurses, vendors, researchers, and national organizations focused on smart pump technology and infusion therapy safety. Formed in 2009 by the Regenstrief Center for Healthcare Engineering, an interdisciplinary research center at Purdue University, REMEDI has compiled a database of more than 32 million alerts and compliance data representing almost 120 million infusions. Membership in REMEDI is provided at no cost to those willing to share their data and knowledge, and members now include 50 health systems with more than 280 facilities in 23 states. Member hospitals that have used the reports to improve infusion safety have shared their lessons learned through collaborative conferences and online, and REMEDI’s data also has been used for research by Purdue faculty and students, which has led to several journal publications.
  • St. Vincent Primary Care Center—Pharmacy Services
    The Indianapolis-based St Vincent Primary Care Center is being honored for its innovative approach to pharmacist-led medical resident medication safety education. The center is an outpatient medical facility serving as the primary training site for seven medical residency programs. In 2010, the pharmacy team worked with physician leadership to introduce large-scale changes, including pharmacist-resident discussions, large group educational sessions, and an improved reporting process. Those changes led to significant improvements in error reporting, safety culture, and medication safety practices. The pharmacy services team, in collaboration with the physician directors, has continued to increase resident engagement with medication safety. They have introduced an initial medication safety orientation, half-day didactic sessions with PGY1 and PGY2 residents, a twice monthly safety-related email publication, and a monthly review of reported medication safety events and risks that is discussed with clinic directors and summarized in a brief presentation to medical residents. 
  • H. Shonna Yin, MD, MSc
    Dr. Shonna Yin is being recognized for her research on strategies to prevent medication administration errors by parents. Dr. Yin is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Population Health at the NYU School of Medicine/Bellevue Hospital Center, and an NIH-funded researcher whose work centers on the intersection between health literacy and medication safety. Dr. Yin has identified root causes of the high rate of dosing errors when parents administer liquid medications to their children, and has studied ways to improve dosing tools and directions on prescription labels to prevent these errors. Dr. Yin has shown that providing dosing tools that measure in milliliters (mL) is best, and that mL-only labels are linked to fewer errors than labels that only include teaspoon (tsp) or have both mL and tsp. Her work was cited in a recent American Academy of Pediatrics Policy Statement recommending mL-only dosing for orally administered liquid medications. Dr. Yin has served as an advisor on health literacy and medication safety issues to many groups, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the Institute of Medicine, and the American Academy of Pediatrics.

The ISMP Lifetime Achievement Award is being presented to Bona Benjamin, BS Pharm. Bona Benjamin is a safety leader who has had a significant impact on clinical practice, accreditation issues, and regulatory standards. She has managed national-level projects to help reduce drug shortages and improve the safety of sterile compounding. She also is a past Chair of the National Coordinating Council for Medication Error Reporting and Prevention (NCC MERP), and collaborated with ISMP to establish the National Alert Network (NAN), which communicates reports of life-threatening medication errors to the healthcare community. In 2011, ISMP honored her and two of her colleagues with a Cheers Award for advocacy in addressing drug shortages and helping bring together a group of stakeholder organizations to examine the problem and recommend solutions. Ms. Benjamin has served on several of the Institute’s advisory boards and provided input into the development of the ISMP Targeted Medication Safety Best Practices. Before her recent retirement, she was Director of Medication Use Quality Improvement for the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP).

The 2017 Cheers keynote speaker will be Michael R. Cohen, RPh, MS, ScD (hon), DPS (hon). Michael Cohen is the President and co-founder of the Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) and has dedicated his career to advocating for medication error prevention. During the 20th anniversary of the Cheers Awards celebration, Mike will provide a unique perspective on the amazing journey toward safer medication practices—a journey that many have joined. A nationally and internationally known speaker on the topic of medication safety, Mike will chronicle our achievements and disappointments as a nation, and pave the way for the next 10 years of the journey. Mike has received numerous awards and honors, including being recognized as a MacArthur Fellow by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

Journalists who wish to attend the awards dinner should contact Renee Brehio.

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